This is an interesting topic for me, because believe it or not, I have never lived in a ‘second hand’ home. I know growing up, it wasn’t by my choice that the homes were always new, but even as an adult, I don’t think I ever thought –’It must be new’ – it just happened that way.
I am likely an example of the hard to please buyer. I want it done exactly my way, with no exception. The size of rooms, the layout, the colour of brick, the type of flooring, finishing styles… These are all part of the new home buying process and something I like to have control of.
Buying a brand new home can be an exciting process. From picking the area you want to live, to touring model homes to see the quality of the different builders, to finding what you can afford. And this is before you even decide what style of home you want! Once you have done your basic homework, the fun starts. You have a blank slate on which to build your ideal home. Just keep in mind, all those nice to have ideas come with a price tag – sometimes far more than you might expect (or be willing to pay, for that matter). Once you have made all your choices, the wait begins. A new home can take more that 4 months to build, all the while you are anxiously watching the progress, or sometimes lack of progress, when weather or other unforeseen events slow down your new home.
Once it is finally done, your moving day has come. Hopefully all your careful planning has created a home in which all your belongings will fit, especially items like the king size bed, or the grand piano…
If your luck is like mine, moving day will be after a few good rain storms, so your front walk, (if you can call those pieces of wood on mud a walk) is a sea of mud, with you slipping and sliding your way in with multiple boxes of treasures.
Be prepared – when you finally move in, not everything will be finished! At least that has been my experience. We moved in once with no sinks in the bathrooms – brushing your teeth in the bathtub is a memorable experience. Or, once they didn’t have the gas turned on – fortunately it was fall weather… cool, but not freezing.
Once you are in, there will be the outdoor landscaping to take care of. Not very often does any more than a bit of front grass get laid before moving day, and not always that. You need to budget to spend a few dollars putting in front walks and driveways. Be sure to wait a season to let the ground settle before spending dollars on fancy walks and driveways. You don’t want to be redoing paved driveways!
Buying a new home is not for everyone. If you need to see the finished product before you can decide if it will work, a new home is not for you. If you like established neighbourhoods with lots of trees and amenities, likely a new home is not for you.
My number one suggestion if you are thinking of buying a new home is to have a really good look at the homes the builder you are thinking of using has built. The trades people who build the next home may not be the same ones as built the homes you are looking at, but the final product is a result of how good the builder is at selecting trades people, and also how closely the builder monitors the quality of work being completed. A good builder will try to ensure consistent quality.
Just as an aside, I am starting the search for a new home shortly, and believe it or not, I am not looking for a brand new home! Although, I am looking for one to renovate… just never satisfied with what I see I guess…